Lawn Disease – Fairy Ring

(Basidiomycete fungi)

Fairy Ring is a common family of turfgrass diseases caused by more than 40 species of Basidiomycete fungi. Fairy Ring affects all species of turfgrass in the United States, with damage occurring from early spring through early winter.      

Identifying Fairy Ring -

Fairy Ring symptoms vary with the different Fairy Ring responsible for causing the infection. Typically, this disease produces raised rings of grass that are either dark-green or brown in color.

The shape and size of these rings can vary with the particular fungi species causing Fairy Ring and the turfgrass species. Additionally, mushrooms and/or puff balls sometimes occur. Some fungi may produce fruiting bodies (mushrooms) with no rings, and vice versa, some may produce rings and no fruiting bodies.

Fairy Ring can sometimes be the reason for hydrophobic areas. Additionally, fungicides are often ineffective in controlling these turfgrass diseases.

Conditions for Fairy Ring Infection -

Fairy Ring can only lead to an infection in your lawn if all of the following conditions are present:

1. Pathogen – Any species of Basidiomycete fungi

2. Host – All species of warm and cool season turfgrass

3. Environment – Can occur in a variety of different climates and soil conditions

Fairy Ring Control -

Cultural disease control practices create favorable conditions for a healthy lawn, and often create unfavorable conditions for the growth of Fairy Ring. Environmental conditions cannot be changed, but cultural practices performed by the homeowner can be modified to lessen the chance of extensive damage from Fairy Ring. Scotts LawnService can help determine a plan for preventing and controlling Fairy Ring in your lawn.

For Fairy Ring control and treatment, Scotts recommends the following cultural control tips:

  • Reduce thatch by vertical lawn mowing or core aeration
  • Infrequent deep watering is recommended verses frequent shallow watering
  • Nitrogen applications can mask symptoms on some Basidiomycetes
Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Fairy Ring control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.